Foot-It Birdathon April 25th-May 4th 2014
Birds Korea April 21st

This year, to celebrate spring migration Birds Korea will be holding our annual birdathon and Pledge-to-Fledge days between April 25th and May 4th (see our blog for earlier posts).

Why Support this Birdathon?

Spring is the season in which millions of birds migrate through our region, in some habitats and sites outnumbering resident species. Some of these migrants come to Korea to breed; others continue on to the Amur Basin; still others migrate further still, on to Arctic Russia and Alaska. A few resident and migrant species are well-studied; the majority of species are not. There is no region-wide program in place to monitor changes in their populations or their habitat; there is not even a nationwide program.  What information there is on population trends remains scattered and largely unavailable to the general public and to decision-makers. However, we know that much of the bird abundance that impressed earlier generations is disappearing. We know that many shorebird species are in steep decline; that species like the globally Endangered Oriental Stork have already been lost to Korea as breeding species in the wild; and that roosts of Barn Swallow 100,000-strong that once attracted tourists in Seoul no longer exist. And we also know that declines in these species means a loss of natural ecosystem health, vital to human life too.

An essential first step in halting declines in these and other species is to gather and share best information on their population trends, threats and possible conservation solutions. Birds Korea has therefore been working on a report detailing changes in bird populations in the Republic of Korea since 2011 to present to decision-makers and to participants at this October’s intergovernmental Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) conference (see: http://biodiversity-l.iisd.org/events/cbd-cop-12/). If we prepare and present well, this conference should provide all of us with a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the need to conserve biodiversity in Korea and along the Flyway, and to help the nation move firmly towards genuinely sustainable development.

This year’s Birdathon will help fund production and publication of this report.

Rules for Participants

The rules of the 2014 Birdathon remain as simple as in previous years:

  1. Decide you want to take part and communicate this clearly here: birdathon@birdskorea.org.

  2. This year, either do the birdathon by yourself or as part of a team (four is the preferred number in a team, with all members of the team seeing or hearing the species if it is to be “counted”).

  3. Find at least one sponsor – someone who will pay you or your team for every species you see or hear, or who will pay you for every hour spent. The more sponsors you find the better!  It is best if you can ask sponsors to fill in the official pledge sheets please.

  4. Choose a time to bird and start birding – for an hour or a full 24 hours, from midnight to midnight or any time of your choosing. Your Birdathon needs to start between 1AM on Friday, April 25th and 11:00PM May 4th (a Sunday).

  5. This year, participants within the ROK are asked to conduct the Birdathon completely on foot. The Birdathon must start and end on foot without any use of any kind of vehicle at any time during the birdathon itself (Use of a vehicle requires the birdathon to end or to start all over again…).

  6. Count the number of species you see or hear within that time period. For those within the ROK, these must be species in Category One of the 2014 Birds Korea Checklist (so excluding Feral / Racing Pigeon Columba livia). Please make a list as you go along and please document carefully any species not in Category One…!

  7. Please send the full list of species seen and the money raised to the Birds Korea office by May 16th. Thank you.

  8. Although everyone is doing this just for the birds, we do still have two books from last year to award to the two Best Fund-raisers …

For Sponsors

  • Thank you for supporting this year’s Birdathon.

  • The simplest way to send funds is by bank transfer to:
    Kookmin Bank
    Account Number 114001-04-033214
    Account Name Cheon Hyun-Ae (Saemangeum)
    Swift Code: CZNBKRSE

  • We are honored to acknowledge your donation publicly online and in the final report.

  • Please mail Birds Korea (birdathon@birdskorea.org) for more information.